Alcoholic with liver disease - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Alcoholic with liver disease

Sheeila profile image

Alcoholic with liver disease , Hello all, first I would like to thank all of you for sharing your experience, strength and hope with us all. I was diagnosed with Hep C 11 years ago. 7 years ago I had a biopsy and my liver was between stage 2 and 3 of liver disease. I went through treatment 5 years go and it was successful however, I have continued to drink. Last year my liver started to hurt. I did not go to the doctor because I did not want to stop drinking, When I did go my liver test were normal but, I know from research it is hurting because it is swollen. I stopped drinking for a month and it stopped hurting but, being the drinker I am I started right back up ago and even though it hurts I just keep right on drinking. I just need other people to talk to who are going through this. I am looking for info is it to late for my liver to heal itself. If I stop drinking now. I know I can I have before.

15 Replies

It is never too late to stop drinking. I stopped nearly 15 years ago, nothing to do with Liver disease or anything medical I just got too tired to carry on living that lifestyle. I have subsequently been diagnosed with Cirrhosis and Primary Liver Cancer. I had an attempted TP in November which was aborted, my wife was told I had less than 12 hours to live. I'm still here, although I can't prove anything my lengthy period of abstinence has in my opinion played a massive part in my limited recovery and even after being told that my life expectancy is maximum 4 years I am still determined to prove that wrong, and even if they are correct with the help of AA I hopefully will die sober and certainly without any feelings of self pity.

I am not a drinker so have no direct experience, but my hubby liked a drink so I swirched him to low and no alcohol beers and wines. Of course if you like vodka, whiskey etc this switch wont help you. My hubby was fine with the switch because the taste of zero zeros was very akin to normal beers. I think wine was slightly different but still OK but then the wine had some alcohol....

You obviously found the strength to give up previously, so Im sending you some strength now, to help you make it.

Good luck xo

My husband has stage 4 liver disease. He gave up alcohol for three years. I still don't know what made him go back and start again. He has been hospitalised four times now in two years. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give up before it is too late. The hospital is wonderful to him, but each time there is an admission, he gets weaker. He is half the man he was physically. Please embrace your life before you cannot go back - it may not be the life you would have chosen for yourself but it is the only one you have...... xx

peacelily59 profile image
peacelily59 in reply to fizzix50

excellent reply i could not have put it any better myself especialy about the life you have is the only one you have got it is a gift

fizzix50 profile image
fizzix50 in reply to peacelily59

Sadly my husband passed away last June; I miss him terribly, and the end of his life was very sad, and really hard to watch. He wanted to come home to die, and he did that, although he was only here for 18 hours before he died. It has broken my heart. I am not sure I will ever get over this. Even now he is gone, I still feel if only he had stayed off the alcohol he would be with me now. I feel cheated and lost and desperately sad. NO ONE COULD POSSIBLY WANT TO DIE IN THE WAY HE DID. Please, please, please, if anyone has been advised to give up alcohol, please do so. Your family and friends will thank you for it.

peacelily59 profile image
peacelily59 in reply to fizzix50

i am so sorry to hear of your loss, i hope this may be of some consolation to you, that is, i think maybe your late husband had no control over his drinking,i am in the same boat and trying my best ,but please try and take comfort in the fact this is not what your husband wanted ,an evil thief called alcohol stole his life my thoughts are with you all the best john

fizzix50 profile image
fizzix50 in reply to peacelily59

I am not a religious person, but I pray to whatever is out there that you find the strength and peace within yourself to beat this. I know he tried his best too, and I know he loved me, but I miss him so much my life doesn't seem to have much meaning without him. I truly wish you all the luck in the world in your struggle. It is so hard, alcohol is everywhere, and it is so accepted as something social today. If only people knew the evil it could so I am sure they would think differently about it. Good luck John. x

Trust1 profile image


Welcome to the forum,

It is a positive first step that you have made in posting your story here and realising that you need to stop drinking alcohol.

If you are, or have ever been, alcohol dependent or an alcoholic, discuss

this with your doctor. In these circumstances it is important to get medical

help to give up drinking, as stopping suddenly can, in some cases, lead to

severe withdrawal symptoms, including hallucinations and seizures. There

are many sources of support and help they can give you or direct you to.

You may find our publication Alchohol and Liver disease useful to read, here is the link;

It would be advisable to go and see your GP as soon as possible and have an open and honest discussion about your alcohol intake, they can then guide you to support and further help.

Wishing you well,

We hope you find the forum a supportive place to visit,

Warm wishes,


Hi there Sheila. Firstly, dont feel alone. I am an (ex) alcoholic, who has been diagnosed with cirrhosis caused by alcohol. I would say that your correct in the assumption that the pain is caused by swelling. I can remember the feeling very well. Drinking in fact took away the pain, but the next morning it would be back with a vengeance.

My GP said that despite me drinking for a very long time, my liver would make improvements if i stopped. It wouldnt reverse the damage, that time has passed, but theres a strong possibility it would make some recovery.

I still struggle with sobriety every day, so I know how you feel. Keep your chin up, dont let depression get you....step away from the bottle, and look forward to tomorrow with a clear head and no liver pain. :)

Hidden profile image

Even tough it is ridiculous to feel regreats, I do do wish I had stopped sooner when my doctors mentioned I had abnormal labs do to drinking.

Now I have to worry about thespintanius varíces bursts, which have caused me to go to the hospital this year twice in a row; in addition to having to deal with anemia and a damaged spleen.

It is not easy to quit, but your doctors can advise on treatments. If you are still able to reverse some of this damage, consider it with the right support.

What can i say ,well I've been drinking for many years now ,got fibromyalgia , working full-time still , struggling with stopping drinking , started attending a alcohol recovery program,three years ago ,gave me great advice ,but after one month ,my keyworker said that if i did not stop i would have to go into hospital for a month ,how on earth was i going to tell that to my employer,so i never went back ,and now I'm starting to wake up to it ,just had my first result today ,picked up a leaflet on a different recovery program which I'm going to get in contact with ,went to the pub today and i had a shandy , stopped at the shop to get a bottle of wine for hubby ,nothing for me ,I'm going to make a start today , actually shandy was nice but no more today ,so i guess what I'm saying is ,your not on your own love ,it's funny loads of help to stop smoking ,but to stop drinking , nope naff all

hello sheeila I to was a very heavy drinker at age 27 I had liver failure well multiple organ failure I was told I wouldn't make it through the night I was sent to North Staffordshire hospital were i was put on dialysis and made a full recovery I started drinking eight days after being discharged and carried on and on going in and out of hospital with pancreatitis I was told I had a fatty liver and I need to stop i had that many detox programmes I lost count I gave up drinking five years ago but it was to late I have cirrhosis of the liver I am 39years old now and giving up drinking was one of the hardest thingso I have ever done so I know how your feeling but it was the best thing I've done in my life as hard as it is please get help to try and stop the drink or you won't be here to write anything on here again am sorry if that sounds harsh but it's true good luck x

Hi all, I am a care taker of my brother who was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis stage 3 in Feb 2017 with all symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy, ascites, nose bleeds, chest pain and highly fatigued. He was in ICU for 3months but soon after the discharge he started his drinking all day. He is on medication to control the symptoms and he is relieved too but still drinking alcohol day and night. I have no idea where we stand and what is going to happen next. I would really appreciate if any of you can suggest what needs to be done next. He was in rehad as well but started drinking again. He experiences severe withdrawal symptoms.

Hi Sheeila! I have silimar background with you and just sharing.I had been drinking almost 365 days a year for 30 years and age 57, suspective Cirrossis, fibro test 27, Hep B, If I don't take in alcohol after bed in the morning I am like a robot without programmes. Hand shivering, mindless of what to do. Fortunately I met a doc 2 weeks ago and I felt the Supports, Cheering, assistance and had stopped completely for the past 2 wks and hopefully could persist thru as long as it can go. I drink 12% HAV beers for 160 gm/day.The pts writing to you is 1) Gradually reduce the amt of alc intake to cut down the desire for Alc. 2) Drink in a slow pace as a normal liver could only decompose Alc by Body wt X 0.1 gm/ hour, Over this limit, the excessive alc still exist and reroute to the liver and too extensive loading for lengthy period cause damages to liver cell. I have suspective Cirrosis, Fibro scan 27.5.Hep B.

I am not a drinker so have no experience. But I would say, if you really want a healthy life, then you must stop completely your drinking habit. Good wishes!

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